Supporting academic success in an inclusive and accessible environment


Supporting academic success in an inclusive and accessible environment

Queen's University launches review of academic accommodations and related procedures.

April 6, 2023


As part of Queen’s commitment to removing disability-related barriers and supporting student success, the university is commencing an external review of academic accommodations and related procedures this spring.

Queen’s ongoing efforts to create an inclusive and accessible environment, are reinforced by the Ontario Human Rights Code that guarantees equal treatment in education, without discrimination based on disability. This legal duty to accommodate students with disabilities includes both procedural and substantive obligations and Queen’s has policies and practices to satisfy both components. For example, Queen’s has an Advisory Committee on Academic Accommodations comprising students, staff, and faculty, an Academic Accommodations for Students with Disabilities Policy and Procedure, and also an Academic Consideration for Students in Extenuating Circumstances Policy and Procedures (Part 1). Furthermore, in collaboration with faculties and schools, Queen's Student Accessibility Services (QSAS)  supports students when navigating the academic accommodations system. In the last academic year (2021-22), the number of students with disabilities registered with QSAS increased by 33 per cent and this upward trend is expected to continue.

“I look forward to the outcome of this timely review of our academic accommodations and related procedures,” says Stephanie Simpson, Associate Vice-Principal (Human Rights, Equity, and Inclusion). “It is critical for us to ensure that everyone involved in academic accommodations feels supported and empowered and that students are able to fully participate in their academic pursuits without any barriers.”

The review is being supported by the Office of the Principal and Vice-Chancellor and the Office of the Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic) and the primary focus will be on the adequacy and fairness of academic accommodations policies, procedures, and programs. Recommendations will be made regarding best practices for academic accommodations, the education of our community, and about the resources available for students, faculty, and staff.

“Our goal is to bring clarity and, where necessary, enhancements to our academic accommodations processes, and to encourage effective and collegial working relationships among senior administrators, staff, and faculty who are responsible for supporting our students,” says Principal and Vice-Chancellor Patrick Deane. “We must all work collaboratively and honour our commitment to creating an inclusive space where everyone is welcome, respected, and students are set up for success.”

Four external reviewers with extensive experience pertaining to academic accommodations have been engaged to conduct the review:

  • Tanya Packer, Director, School of Health Administration, Professor, School of Occupational Therapy, Dalhousie University
  • Nora Farrell, Consultant to various higher education institutions and Ombuds Offices and adjunct instructor at Osgoode Hall Law School
  • Patrick Case, Assistant Deputy Minister, Educational Equity Secretariat in the Ministry of Education
  • Jeff Preston, Associate Professor, Disability Studies at King's University College at Western University

An Advisory Panel will also be formed to guide and assist the reviewers. Consultations with stakeholders will take place this summer, and it is expected the university will receive a report in spring 2024.

Learn more about the review on the Inclusive Queen’s website and questions can be sent to:

Community Stories